Before Alden Coldwell and her fiancé, Peter Dearborn, were married in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire at the end of June, the couple opted for a different kind of bridal shower.
On June 14, family and friends of the bride and groom gathered at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center in Boston to give blood instead of material gifts. The blood collected was donated to help save the lives of patients at Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“We’ve never done anything quite like this,” says Malissa Lichtenwalter, supervisor for donor recruitment at the Kraft Center. “But we are always open to new and different ways of giving back.”
Peter’s sister, Emilyann, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011 and treated at Dana-Farber. The family was touched by the support they received and wanted to give back.
“It’s something I’ve always valued,” says Alden, who has been donating blood with Peter since high school. “Donating is a regular part of our lives. We want to give back any way we can.”
Lichtenwalter says that although the Kraft Center is not usually open on Sundays, they were happy to make an exception.
“We are excited when someone would like to honor or memorialize someone who has been treated here at Dana-Farber, and blood donations are always in high demand,” Lichtenwalter said.
And for the newlyweds, the choice of shower venue was a no-brainer.
“Choosing to donate wasn’t a big decision for us,” Alden explains. “It was the only decision.”